I had seen lantern festivals in photos from all over the world but I had never heard of the Rise Festival. After seeing some really cool videos of their past festivals I quickly purchased my ticket. The festival took place in the Mojave Desert. The venue sat on the Moapa Indian Reservation about 30 minutes outside of the Las Vegas Strip. Upon getting there you park and walk about a mile (20min) to the where the action is so I strongly recommend comfy close-toed shoes. Since it is in the desert it gets pretty dusty. By the entrance they have lots of food and beverage vendors with lots of places to sit and write. After getting a veggie burger I scanned my ticket to receive my lantern, sharpie and small bamboo mat.
The grounds were set up with a stage for the bands in the middle with rows and rows of torches. After picking my area and torch I laid my mat down so I could start writing. I knew that day I wanted to reflect on my good times as well as the bad, about my year and my life as well. One one side I wrote the bad things or things I needed to let go of. On the other side I wrote my future goals and wishes. They announced the first countdown and I started to prepare for the second to be apart of.
Lighting the lanterns were fairly easy. As my bright lantern drifted info the air I felt a huge sense of release like I was really letting go of all the things that had burdened me. A part of me was now drifting into the hair with hundreds of others. The dark desert sky was now lit with lanterns and smiles. Rise Fest for me was a spiritual awakening experience.